Groups of 9-12
$1200 per person +tax
2020 Dates: March 9-14* (sign up by March 1)
March 23-28 (sign up by March 16)
*New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Members Only

6 Day Rafting Adventure
in the Gila Wilderness

The Trip


This is a rare opportunity to experience a rafting adventure on the Gila River in Americas’ first wilderness! Experienced and knowledgeable local guides will pilot you through the beautiful and rugged Gila River Canyon where scenic vistas await around every bend. The Gila is a small river, in a big canyon, with something new at every turn - swirling eddies, giant boulders, tight bends and class II and III rapids.

You will be traveling in rafts carrying 4-6 people and gear with an experienced guide in each boat. If you can assist in paddling the guide will instruct you accordingly along the way.

This trip, known as the “Wilderness Run”, starts just below the confluence of the East and West Forks of the Gila River at the NM Highway 15 Bridge. Here the river enters and flows through the Wilderness for 35 miles with no road access. We pass by the remote 4-wheel drive Turkey Creek Road and continue another 5 miles to our take out point at the easily accessible Mogollon Box Campground.

Our 5 day schedule allows us to take each day as it comes and includes time for stops along the way to rest and enjoy the diverse riparian forests along the banks with optional hikes to explore side canyons and archeological sites.

Lovely campsites abound and we’ll choose a location as each day progresses. At camp, you can choose your own site to pitch your tent. We will prepare hearty and delicious home-style meals in our camp kitchen, served by the fire with comfortable camp chairs to enjoy.
Day l:  Everyone is to meet in Silver City (at a private home) by 3pm, where you will leave your vehicle. All your gear for the trip should be sorted and ready to load. From here we take our shuttle van for the scenic, 2 hour, 45 mile drive on winding mountain roads to The Wilderness Lodge and Hotsprings; located only a mile from the boat launch. Here we can relax, soak in the hotspring pools, discuss the trip, have dinner and spend the night.

Day 2-6: After a hearty breakfast, we will transport everyone and their gear to the launch. We’ll organize and rig the boats, then set out for our 5 day trip with 4 nights of camping.

The trip concludes the afternoon of day 6 at Mogollon Box campground where our shuttle will meet us for the 1 hour drive to your vehicle in Silver City.


We closely monitor river levels at the following sites: the put-in at Gila Hot Springs, and the take-out in Gila/Cliff

We recommend that you look at the weather forecast for both locations: the put-in at Gila Hot Springs, and the take-out in Gila/Cliff
To Book Please Call 719-250-9000

More about this trip

This trip is dependent on appropriate water flow. We have scheduled for the highest probability of such. If the trip is cancelled due to water conditions ALL money paid to us will be refunded.

No prior boating experience is necessary. Reasonable fitness is required for the rigors of boating and camping. Early spring weather is variable so be prepared for chilly conditions and the possibility of showers. Average highs are in the low to mid 60s with night-time temperatures in the 20s.

All participants are required to sign a liability waiver. You can review it here, there will be a printed copy for you to sign at the trailhead.

All meals and snacks are provided starting with dinner at the lodge on Day 1 thru lunch on Day 6 including coffee, hot tea and cocoa. Bring your own alcoholic beverages- we will pack them separately on the boat (not in your luggage). We provide PFD’s, dry bags and First Aid Kits.  Fully outfitted camp includes:

  • Kitchen and dining equipment
  • Camp chairs
  • Filtered water
  • Tents
  • Toilet

You will need your own sleeping bag, pillow and pad (these are available for a fee upon request). You may bring your own lightweight tent if you prefer.

Packing Lists

  • Sleeping Bag (lightweight /compressible rated 20* or below)
  • Sleeping Pad (backpack type)
  • Water Bottles/canteen (2- 1quart)
  • Flashlight (we recommend headlamps) and extra batteries
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Medication you require
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses
Recommended Clothing:

The key is layering to adjust to conditions. Extra pairs are recommended for changing out wet items and to have something dry to wear at camp in the evening. Be reasonable – if you bring too much it won’t fit in your dry bag!

All clothing should be wool or synthetic (cotton and down are not appropriate for wet conditions).

  • 2 Pairs Thermal base-layer long sleeve top and bottom
  • 2 Pairs Nylon pants
  • 4 pairs warm socks
  • 2 well fitted long sleeve shirts
  • Medium weight fleece jacket or sweater
  • Insulated vest
  • Rain Jacket and pants (waterproof shell with hood that will fit over other layers)
  • 2 pairs insulated gloves (1 waterproof)
  • Warm knit hat
  • Sun hat
  • Extra pair of shoes for camp and hiking

Neoprene Booties are recommended for boating such as these or comparable.
Alternately you can wear water shoes or sandals (not flip-flops) with warm socks.
Other items to consider:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bandanna
  • Waterproof camera
  • Camp towel
  • You may bring your own lightweight tent if preferred

Please visit our Trip Prep page for more information 
Contact Us
Gila Backcountry Services
Zack and Jamie Crockett
Tel.: 719-250-9000
Email: [email protected]
23 Airstrip Rd
Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico, 88049
United States of America
Operating under a special use permit from the USFS
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